Fire scorches garage on Homestead Avenue in Greenfield

Homeowner Jeff Andrews and Greenfield Fire Chief Robert Strahan stand next to each other as firefighters extinguish a fire at Andrews’ garage on Homestead Avenue on Wednesday afternoon.

Homeowner Jeff Andrews and Greenfield Fire Chief Robert Strahan stand next to each other as firefighters extinguish a fire at Andrews’ garage on Homestead Avenue on Wednesday afternoon. STAFF PHOTO/ANTHONY CAMMALLERI

By ANTHONY CAMMALLERI

Staff Writer

Published: 04-17-2024 3:58 PM

Modified: 04-17-2024 5:18 PM


GREENFIELD — No one was injured after a garage at 42 Homestead Ave. caught fire Wednesday afternoon.

Firefighters could be seen hosing down the detached garage at approximately 1 p.m. as smoke poured out of it. According to Fire Chief Robert Strahan, firefighters arrived to find a “well-involved fire” damaging the building.

The Turners Falls Fire Department and Greenfield Police Department helped Greenfield firefighters on Homestead Avenue while the South Deerfield Fire District provided station coverage. Strahan said the crew was able to promptly extinguish the fire and was ready to begin an inspection of the scene within minutes.

“We were able to contain the fire to the garage,” he said. “It was very close to the house but we were able to contain it with no damage to the house.”

Strahan said it is believed the fire was caused by the accidental disposal of smoking materials.

Although property owner Jeff Andrews was not home at the time his garage caught fire, Andrews’ cousin, Thomas Patenode, said he was inside the garage, which he referred to as an apartment, smoking a cigarette. He stepped outside for a moment and returned to find black smoke.

“I came back and saw black smoke in the apartment,” Patenode said. “I ran out and started asking [neighbors] if they had a fire extinguisher I could use.”

Ken Bacigalupo, who lives across the street, said Patenode ran over to his house to ask him for a fire extinguisher. Bacigalupo looked across the street to see flames and large quantities of smoke.

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“There was smoke for about 10 to 15 minutes and then all of a sudden we saw the flames shoot up,” Bacigalupo said. “I said ‘Get out of there’ because the flames started crackling and then all of a sudden it started booming because there was gas in there, too.”

Andrews said he was at work when the fire started. Although he has homeowner’s insurance, Andrews said the garage was not covered as part of the policy.

Anthony Cammalleri can be reached at acammalleri@recorder.com or 413-930-4429.